How to fix “The system cannot find the file specified” error on Windows 10?

by Alice Woods - -
12

Question

Issue: How to fix “The system cannot find the file specified” error on Windows 10?

When I do a system image for Windows 10, I get an error message “The system cannot find the file specified.” What could that mean and what should I do to fix it?

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Solved Answer

“The system cannot find the file specified” is a Windows 10 bug, which usually indicate an Error Code 0x80070002. However, sometimes the code may differ according to the failure type, OS specificities, and other indicators. The error may occur under various conditions, but most frequently people encounter it when trying to access or backup some files stored on the system. The “The system cannot find the file specified” error might be triggered by incorrect file permission settings, abnormal registry keys, missing files in system drivers, damaged specified file name, and so on. Windows might have started malfunctioning due to the power failure, broken hard disk during the driver/update install, accidentally changed software install directory, and similar. Unfortunately, but the only way to fix “The system cannot find the file specified” with an error 0x80070002 is to perform several fixes manually or take your device to the IT specialists.

A Guide on How to Fix “The system cannot find the file specified” on Windows 10

As soon as you face “The system cannot find the file specified” error, launch your antivirus and run a full system scan with it. Malware and dangerous virus can easily damage core system files and therefore, may lead to issues like this one. Our recommendation would be Reimage as it contributes not only manage system’s security, but also system’s files.

Check the System Log Files

  1. Navigate to the C:/Windows/inf directory and open Inf folder.
  2. Locate the setupapi.dev or setupapi.dev.log file and open it.
  3. Press Ctrl + F hotkey and type “cannot find the file” in the search.
  4. Press Enter to run the search. You should get the missing file.
  5. Copy and paste it into the Windows/inf folder.
  6. The missing file should isolate the problematic system driver. Reinstall it and reboot the system.

Modify several registry keys

  1. Press Windows key + R, type regedit and hit Enter.
  2. To secure your current registry condition, create its backup. For this purpose, click File -> Export.
  3. Enter the name for the registry backup and select All under Export.
  4. Click Save to save the backup.
  5. Then use the left Registry Editor’s pane to navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion key.
  6. Find the RunOnce key. If such a key doesn’t exist, click on the CurrentVersion key and select New -> Key.
  7. Type RunOnce to name the key.
  8. Now open the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\ key. Expand it and check if the RunOnce has successfully been created.
  9. After that, close Registry Editor and restart Windows.

Install Windows Updates

If you haven’t updated Windows for a long time, “The system cannot find the file specified” error is a sign that it’s about time to install all pending updates. For this purpose, you have to:

  1. Press Windows key + I and select Update & Security.
  2. Click Check for Updates and wait.
  3. When the list of available updates is revealed, install all of them.
  4. Repeat the same procedure several times to ensure that all needed updates have been installed.
  5. Don’t forget to restart the system to finish the installation of updates.

Delete ProfileImagePath key

This method applies for those Windows users who encountered “The system cannot find the file specified” error when creating system’s image or backup.

  1. Press Windows key + R, type regedit, and press Enter.
  2. Navigate to the HKEY _LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows NT\\CurrentVersion\\ProfileList and expand the ProfileList key.
  3. Check all sub-keys if they have ProfileImagePath value on the right pane.
  4. If any of these sub-keys lack for the ProfileImagePath value or if the value is empty, remove that specific sub-key.

Delete the Config value from the registry

If the “The system cannot find the file specified” error popped up when trying to reinstall network driver, you should follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows key + R, type regedit, and press Enter.
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\Control\\Network\\Config key.
  3. Right-click on the Config key and select Delete.
  4. Reboot the system.

IMPORTANT: if you cannot find the key indicated above, skip this method.

All the fixes provided above apply under different conditions, so you should perform them one by one and check which one is suitable in your case. If none of these fixes helped, please contact us and we will try to investigate your case individually. We are pretty sure that eventually you’ll fix “The system cannot find the file specified” error.

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If you failed to fix your error using Reimage, reach our support team for help. Please, let us know all details that you think we should know about your problem.
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About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Shares the knowledge about computer protection

Alice Woods is a security expert who specializes in cyber threat investigation and analysis. Her mission on Ugetfix - to share the knowledge and help users to protect their computers from malicious programs.

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